Skip to main content

About this Show





San Francisco, CA, USA

Comcast Cable

Channel 89 (615 MHz)






San Francisco 7, Mta 3, The City 2, Steven Humaney 1, Christine Olague 1, Alick 1, Ms. Pardinea 1, Riskin 1, Benjamin Balace 1, Chris Torfer Folkelson 1, Nolan 1, Ms. Macary 1, Barry Corngold 1, Edwin Santiago 1, Luxor 1, New York City 1, Medallion 1, The Limos 1, America 1, The Medallion 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 11, 2012
    5:30 - 6:00pm PST  

to draft legislation that respects the will of the voters on taxi issues. please keep our desire not to tamper with the intent of proposition k in mind as you draft the legislation. there was only one principle in prop k and that was that permits go to cab drivers, not to cab companies, not to anybody else, and those senior cab drivers earned the permits by working years as a driver. this was defended -- talking about the will of the voters, from the people from the sf mta keep reminding us about. the voters went eight times to the polls to knock aside challenges to prop k which said permits to cab drivers and which this prop k went through in 2007 it was in the dead of night figuratively speaking, and i would like to point out one thing -- i looked at it again today and 10,000
words long and many pages in the pamphlet and 67 words were relevant to this. they hit it in the middle in the tiny print but it does say had should a transfer to the sf mta occur it should have the same exclusive authority. i would like to emphasize the same. it doesn't say stripping drivers of their basic human rights. if the board of appeals doesn't have jurisdiction in this honestly i don't know what its purpose is. please help us. please take this case. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> and good evening board. my name is benjamin balace and a cab driver here in san francisco. i would like to give you a little background of who i am and why i am here to speak
today. i started driving a car here in san francisco about nine years ago in 23. and i went to cab school and you should sign up for a medallion under proposition k so i thought about it. i started driver a cab. i enjoyed it. i made a little money. obviously i'm not wealthy but i enjoy today and a year and a half later i went and said i am ben and want to sign up for a medallion. and i paid my money and have been waiting since. in the interim friends have gone off to graduate school and other jobs and i'm still here driving a cab because i signed up on the waiting list for a medallion. and that was my life plan.
here i am eight years ago and the rug is being pulled out from under me and many others. this plan to issue the permits directly to the cab companies forces a driver like me to have to reevaluate our whole life and what we're doing. this is a golden opportunity for the mta to keep their word and say that any new permits we're going to give 50% for the waiting list for seniority and the pilot program and how it was sold to us and here are the medallions and they're going straight to the cab companies and that's not what we were told, so that's why i am at, and i hope that you guys can hear my story and the stories of others, and realize that your job as a system -- as
functioning in a system of checks and balances and the spirit of democracy is to up hold our stories and listen and do what is right. it's an ethical issue in my mind and frankly the system of sf mta is a corporation and for profit. they're making rules they profit from, and we need somebody to interdistrict on our behalf. thank you for your time. i appreciate you listening to us. i know there are a lot more speakers. have a good evening. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> hi i am edwin santiago. i am a driver here in san francisco and for 33 years. i work for yellow cab. i was one of the people that got my medallion by putting my name on a
applicant's list and of course i waited 10 years but i did do it. i am at 63 years now and at a cross roads and talking about selling the medallion, or excuse me surrounding it and there is no future in this industry. >> >> there is a lot of illegal limo activity going on out there. there is a lot of illegal taxis running around, doormen have their hands in our pockets, companies have their hands in our pockets. the sf mta is taking control of this industry and of course for them the cab industry is nothing but a cash cow and it's affecting everybody in the industry, and all i see is them wanting to take, take, take, and i'm sure that it's within your jurisdiction when somebody steps out of line, and they do
something wrong -- if a customer jumps in the cab and accuses me of raping them i'm at your mercy or the police department or whatever, but i am sure you are strong enough to step into the picture and do something for the cab industry or for all these individuals. everybody's got a different reason for being here, and i am here because i have a lot of friends who are on that list. they can't speak english so i am speaking for them and there is 150 medallions you're letting out to the cab companies, leasing to the cab companies and the sf mta is leasing to the cab companies i think those medallions should go to the people on the list, or at least 50-50, and i know the sf mta is not looking out for my best interests. i am looking
out for my best interests and i just hope that something gets resolved here tonight, and i am sure that you're smart enough to know what is going on in this industry, and if not you will learn tonight. thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> i am steven humaney and i am a taxi driver and not much of a public speaker so i will try to do this without having a heart attack. i lived here for 12 years and drive a taxi. i went to college and i did and finished. i started driving a taxi and there is nothing absolutely like -- i love my job. i love serving the public. i was para-transit of the door. i help little old lady to the door, put wheel chairs in the back of my car. i started working again at night and
somebody needs to wait until the 22 year old girl gets into her house and it's two okay in the morning and she lives at 18th and cap and that's the way i look at my job. it's more than transit but the issue today is one of fairness. we're asking that you take a look at how things have been going. my understanding from what i have seen from 10 years in the industry the sf mta has no authority to who what they have been doing. san francisco the medallions always go to drivers and not companies and there are millions of dollars being made by a part the government -- like we're expecting them to regulate will themselves but they're gaining
millions of dollars on our behalf. there are people on the list and i have waited eight and now just because no one wants to do anything we're have to rethink what we're doing. everybody points to new york city as an example of what is right with the cab industry. you have an area half of the size of san francisco. you have 10 times the number of cabs. i was there in may and i took a lot of cabs and i always talk to the drivers and they average about $27,000 a year because the medallions are out of the range of them afford one. they work long hours. it's a great town to get a cab in but a bad town to drive a taxi in. i was asked twice where are we going? we're going to tenth and 40th and you
don't know how to get there. that's horrible and if they take the medallions and give them to the company over time this is a [inaudible] dollar an hour of job and 20 years from now when everyone is wondering what happened to the cab industry and you guys are our only hob at the moment and we're asking to you take a look at this. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> ladies and gentlemen, good evening. my name is ms. macary and have been driving 33 years in san francisco, and i have a question for you guys. this cab industry is over 100 years for the city. you don't find any other business that goes through
different kind of regulation, different kind of agency come and regulating them, and putting in different kind of rules. right now we are getting tickets for picking up passengers from hotels because all the limos are lined up. you have to double park to load the luggage and they come and pass and take your number, and they send you ticket for $110, and these are the regulations these three past years they put on us. there are hundreds of different regulations and on the other hand they put regulation if the luggage is over size of the trunk you have to get it back inside the cab. you only allowed to charge 1 dollar. i
mean they are like -- they making all the rules without inviting us, without sharing with us what kind of business is this? i am tired of doing this business anymore. i am trying to sell my medallion and find something else. there is no retirement here. there is no health care here. after 33 years i don't have health insurance because i can't afford it. i thought they started -- you know, we came to meetings and working with her but i see there is a lot -- hidden hands, not letting her to do her job. pushing to just collect money from the cab industry for a
different purpose. these monies collected they were supposed to work for the cab industry. . taxi driver fund to help the cab drivers, emergency problem. if our kids going to school to give us loan for school. i appreciate if you guys take a look at this industry. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good evening. my name is chris torfer folkelson and a cab driver for 41 years and i hold a medallion. i ask you that the taxicab agree is -- find in favor of the letter for the
resolution. in the previous meeting the representative from the city attorney's office focused on the question whether mta's alleged authority could release the medallionos the pretext they're not a taxi product previously regulated. such as regulatory sleight-of-hand of allowing something previously denied merely because it's different from what has been regulated before. please note the city attorney representative is denying the law. in the code which states that consideration of medallion issuance could not be made more than once a year. the mta authorized more than 100 in the last year. i will say it like a voters pamphlet. a vote against this is meaning you're allowing the mta to break the law. this is epidemic in the
board. they had -- when voted on it they did it without completing the report and the report it fill in the blank items missing on it. i brought these facts to complaint to the sunshine task force and voted against them. they realized none of the recommendations were heedd and the majority ofs members and the exception of those in sales of medallion sales resigned and thus a message to the mta board it was dissolved by its own members and given a stamp to community that could not with stand the light of day. one of the topics is expected to be the topic of issuance but they want the
medallions issue the right away and not do the google refix and the -- chosen and highly paid advisers. we ask you not to allow it. even board president nolan voted against the president question because he felt the study should be completed first. in this instance i think with the president of the board the wisdom lies. his vote is in the minority. we ask you to support that minority vote and coincides with the taxi drivers reality and all justice. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good evening. i am a taxi and limo driver. what you hear from the people around here. there was a big conspiracy that was made a few years ago. i was part of that conspiracy. some
cab company put the money together and went to a couple of people in the city hall and got one single with 60 words and proposition for muni. united taxicab workersies to be transfer to the mta and without any story besides that, just one page and muni charter so they got through with the benefit package. that was the game plan. after that on my right and left i saw money was flying like anything. tons of money was collected and distributed. and appointed christine olague and i can't explain the details and was wrong to do. then the time came when a gentleman from
a small town and walked into this town and goes to the democratic party club and hand over the checks. the guy got impressed from them and they were clapping and on the job. they were happy. they were screaming happy. so it went down. then they decided to give 150 medallions to the cab companies. but $1,900 each a month fee. $4 million for a year. i went to mta in writing. i say i gave you $8 million. you're giving for four. i give you eight. you want 15 yellow want i will keep 15 yellow. you want 15 luxor. whatever you want. the service issue, whatever you want and keeping that company but i give you double the money. we don't want to give it, the medallion, to
the drivers. this is a scam. this is a fraud, and then they came to you and don't want the rights of the people to appeal even at one time when i called the protester the devil and considered in their office to issue me an admonishment letter because i am organizing a protest of the taxi drivers. these people are wrong. this is a dictatorship. this is not the sadiam country. this is the united states of america and democracy is the top priority. please give these people rights. i don't have a penny interest in this medallion. i am fighting for all these people. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good evening ladies and gentlemen. i would just to say iewf the bat prop k was designed to keep quality drivers in this
business. prop a is keep drivers out of the business. i wrote a letter last night and it's addressed to the sf mta, and i never think they're going to listen to me but i hope you will. i am jerry and i am 270 on the list. i believe i have earned this medallion. i wore and tore from this job. i also have a recurring illness. regarding the list and the medallions that the sf mta issued themselves. this is the crime of the century. getting a medallion is the pinnacle of driving a job and right now there are hundreds of us at the peak and you deny us
and take for yourself. this can't be right. you can't be serious. how can you ignore the plight of hundreds of cab drivers who have worked a lifetime, altered their lives and sacrificed and refused other opportunity in order to earn their medallion. it's so wrong and cruel. you have stolen my future and my family's future. in case you're not aware of it cabbies have families too. right now i suffer from terment of this justice and it's severe and the first thing i think of in the morning and last thing at night. it's the epitome of being used and abused. prop k kept us in this business with promises and hope and so did prop a by the way at the start, and i looked at this as security for my family and pension and retirement plan and now i'm
looking at nothing, a complete dead end. this is a shame, and there's an sf little pamphlet that these guys put out in march of 09 and promised to get to everybody on that list, so they chipped away and chipped away and it's come to this, a dead end. there has to be an incentive otherwise getting into a cab is like getting into a tunnel of perpetual darkness. there has to be compensation for this lifetime of hard work. there has to be hope. don't stamp out our hope which is what you're doing. we live on hope. the list has got to stay and go to professional working career drivers. thank you. >> thank you. >> next speaker please. >> hi. my name is barry corngold and president of the san francisco cab drivings soarz
and one of the councilmembers that resigned because we weren't being listened to and i would like to point out that many if not most of the drivers that are here are missing work. many having to pay to be here as well as the hundreds of hours of meetings that we're required to go to that we don't get paid for. ed riskin argues that the transportation system is one thing and part of the entire transportation system. however, muni or mta pays for the buses, the vehicles. they pay the drivers. they don't pay cab drivers or buy the vehicles or insurance. cab drivers are doing this work for very little money, and unfortunately the criteria has been whais going to make the sf mta the most money. they could have issued
these 150-200 medallions a year ago but they wanted to see how to make money off of it. they could be issued to these drivers and instead they lease them to companies and these are medallions that won't go on the road. none of this $14 million a year they intend to get is going back into cracking on illegal taxi operations that are picking up the public, limos -- you know doormen are putting people into strange town cars that don't have commercial license plates. there's no -- not enough inspectors to crack down on this and none of the millions of dollars is going toward this. we pay to regulate this. this is more than regulation. this is profiteering off of the industry. they are regulating us but the main criteria is making a profit. so and
about proposition a. voters weren't even aware this involved the taxi industry. it was billed as making muni cleaner and parking and at the last minute they slipped in a nine page legal ease explanation of the prop and little paragraph and yeah taxis would go under the mta and the taxi commission would be dissolved so we need this oversight and we need this avenue of appeal. thanks. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> hi. my day started at 3:30 a.m. this morning and shift started at 5:00 o'clock and now we're here today. we're in an election year. this would be the majority of votes
right now. if you disregard what we're telling you over and over you're disregarding your job duties. mta is out of control. it should be over seen. it shouldn't be making money off of us or taking our profits from us. they should allows us to do our jobs, be respected, honored. 16 years waiting just for nothing. i could have doing a million things. this is the majority. we are speaking. we should be heard. please do the right thing and keep honoring what we have been doing, and we have been working for all this time. it's in black and white. you are legally bond to do what the black and white paperwork says what has been already voted into effect. if you disregard this it will be issue after issue. it was simple. medallions go to
the drivers. why do we differ from this? because they wanted to make money off of this, and that's what they're doing. if they're not checked it will go as under the title of corruption, taking our profits and livelihood. profits are getting squashed everyday. everyone is taking our money, the credit card companies, the limos, and you're hearing the same thing over and over. stick to the rules. stick to the regulations. stick to what you're supposed to do. thank you. >> do you care to state your name for the record ma'am? >> my name is ms. pardinea, big dog taxi, 16 years on the list.
thank you. >> good evening honorable commissioners. i have been living in the city for 29 years driving a car for almost 24 years on the medallion waiting list for almost 14 years. yeah, i said it. okay. can i start over again? >> state your name. >> okay. good evening honorable commissioners. i have been living in the city for 29 years, driving a car for 24 years. on the medallion waitings list for 14 years and i am maline m alick. we have been good afternoon the right of appeal. this is the process. if you don't the city attorney says -- all due respect to the city attorney, the board can hold appeal of the individual permits but not the number of the permits. if you think about it
when you get the number of permits to the taxi companies that is the denial of the original permits because all the medallions under the prop k system should have gone to the waiting list to be earned and it's the denial of the individual permits and the board should hear the appeal. we are not -- [inaudible] so we should have the right to appeal. please don't take the right away from the drivers like me who can't afford to go to court. commissioners, since the taxi -- sf mta took over the taxicab fares they sold 218 medallionings. they gave 50 to the people not on the waiting list and they never put their name on the list for zero cost, and now they gave 150 to 200 medallions directly leased to